Vineyard at home? Face the cold facts of growing grapes in NH

Grapes don't like to be cold. Grapes don't like to be wet. In short, grapes don't like New Hampshire, or they shouldn't. But with the advances in French hybrids, Granite Staters can make their own private vineyard as good as any more congenial ecosystem.

However, it's important to note this not a hobby for the faint of heart. It takes patience — five years of patience to be exact — in order for grapes to be ready to make wine. Also, even northern grapes are a bit picky. So things like placement, drainage and soil quality matter.

The most important thing about growing northern grapes is that your rootstock has to be perfect, said Amy LaBelle, winemaker at LaBelle Winery in Amherst.

Grapes: They're Good for Your Heart (and Your Head)

Among the growing amount of research that promotes the presence of Concord grapes and grape juice in healthy lifestyles, two recently published scientific papers report that Concord grapes, the purple and red grapes used to make Welch's grape juice, can have positive effects on cardiovascular and cognitive health.

Further research, published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, also outlines the positive benefits that grape juice can have on cognitive health. The paper reports on a study conducted by Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the University of Cincinnati that found Concord grape juice helps to stop mild memory loss. The paper concludes that a daily intake of grape juice will greatly benefit older adults who suffer from early cognitive decline.

Lake Erie Grape Discovery Center Opens

A symbol of the great lakes grape growing region is open to the public and ready for business. The new Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, New York, had its grand opening. Our grape region extends from Silver Creek to Harborcreek, and the new center is bringing attention to the industry. The Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association wanted a visitor center to bring the community together to learn about the area. The decade of brainstorming is complete, and the building is open.

The Best Time to Pick Concord Grapes for the Best Flavor


Growing Concord grapes takes a little effort and even less room and can produce fruit reliably for as long as 75 years. Let taste, not change of color, be your guide to know when to harvest. When the grapes are sweet and bursting with juice, cut off, do not pull, the entire cluster. Vines begin to bear fruit two to three years after planting.

Taste

Concord grapes have a slightly tart, strong musky flavor and are not as sweet as green and red grapes. This variety of grape is best suited for jams, jellies and juice and less so for wine.

History of the Concord Grape


Commercial production of grapes dates all the way back to the year 1000 B.C. It was not until the year 1854 that the Concord variety came into being. The Concord grape is named after the Massachusetts village of Concord where the first vines were originally cultivated. The Concord grape is an extremely robust and aromatic grape derived from wild native species growing throughout New England in the most rugged soils.

Through experimentation with native seeds, Boston-born Ephraim Wales Bull created the Concord grape in the year 1849. At his farm outside the village of Concord, Bull planted some 22,000 seedlings before he produced the grape he was looking for.the Concord. He was determined throughout his experimentation to produce a variety that was early to ripen and possessed a full bodied flavor.